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date: 05 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the emergence of a controversial genre of radical discourse—the popular weapons manual—among anti-imperial, anticapitalist groups in the United States and Europe during the late 1870s. Drawn from science textbooks, military manuals, and other types of technical literature, the new discourse synthesized information from authoritative sources, made technical processes accessible to the average reader, and politicized the practice of technical education. The chapter uses bomb-making texts such as the enigmatic Professor Mezzeroff’s “Prescriptions for Students” and Johann Most’s Science of Revolutionary Warfare to show that the democratization of science and technology was critical to the historical emergence of terrorism.

Keywords: Johann Most, Mezzeroff, science, technology, terrorism, radical, discourse, education, propaganda of the deed

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